Are You Depressed? Know The Different Types of Depression...

You can see whether you may be suffering from depression by taking a quick 9-item test. Click the link at the bottom of this page or click here.


Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether or not you may be feeling depressed. If you’re not sure, it may come as a surprise that there are different types of depression, ranging from mild to very severe. There is usually no single cause for depression; rather there are a range of symptoms that may impact on a person’s daily life. At Sydney Hills Counselling we work with effective, evidence-based methods to diagnose and help clients overcome their depressive symptoms.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 2.2 million Australians are living with some form of depression. It’s believed that close to 1 in 6 people will experience a major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Depression is more common in women (1 in 5 women) and in older people, whereas depression in men occurred only less slightly (1 in 8).

What are the symptoms of depression?

The general symptoms of depression may include:

  • Frequent and/or recurrent low moods
  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Crying far more often than usual
  • Experiencing negative feelings towards self and sometimes others
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Increased anxiety
  • Low self-worth
  • Lack of Libido
  • Lethargy, so even small everyday tasks require extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and possible weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things


Many people who suffer with depression experience symptoms severe enough to cause significant problems in their everyday activities, such as work or school, social activities or in their relationships with others. Some people merely report feeling unhappy without really knowing why.

How is depression diagnosed?

In contrast to sadness, depression is persistent and often lasts for several weeks, months or even years. Doctors in Australia and other mental health professionals usually use The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, otherwise known as the K10, to diagnose depression in their patients. The K10 is a 10-item questionnaire which asks questions about symptoms of depressive and anxiety symptoms that a person may be experiencing. The doctor or mental health professional will usually rank your depressive symptoms as mild, moderate, or severe.

What type of depression could you be experiencing?

Mild Depression: You may be experiencing low moods that may go on for days but that are usually only temporary. You may also experience other depressive symptoms such as irritability, sadness and/or feel unmotivated, but the symptoms are often less intense than the other types of depression listed below. Mild depression is the easiest to treat.

Moderate Depression: If you are experiencing moderate depression, you will often find that a good portion of your day is impacted by low moods. These impacts can be felt in your work life, family life, social life, and you may also feel below par physically. You may also be experiencing insomnia or other sleep difficulties and may have occasional thoughts that life isn’t worth living.

Major Depression: Also referred to as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD),is the most common type of depression and its symptoms usually include experiencing a persistent dark mood, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness along with some of the common symptoms listed above. You may also experience changes in your appetite, along with possible weight loss or weight gain. You may also have thoughts of self-harm. The symptoms of Major Depression usually last for 2 weeks or longer, significantly interfering with your daily activities and general quality of life.

Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): Persistent Depressive Disorder is a chronic form of depression that usually lasts for at least 2 years. Depressive symptoms are usually intense and prolonged, and this usually leads to significant misery and an inability to function in life in a satisfactory way.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that’s related to changes in seasons; typically starting in Autumn and continuing through the winter months. SAD usually begins and ends at about the same time every year with regularity. Rarely, SAD can occur in Spring and early Summer.

Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar Disorder was previously referred to as Manic Depression due to its being characterised by extreme mood swings including depressive episodes and manic (extreme elevated mood) phases. The depressive phases present with symptoms similar to Major Depression while the manic phases may involve symptoms such as extremely high energy, decreased need for sleep, and racing thoughts.

Perinatal Depression: Includes prenatal depression where mothers-to-be experience depression before their baby is born and postpartum depression where mothers experience depression after they give birth. Perinatal depression may also affect a woman’s partner who has not given birth. Research in Australia indicates that around 15-22% of women experience depression during pregnancy and/or following the birth of their baby.

Situational Depression: Usually occurs when a person experiences a major life event such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, separation and/or divorce, an alarming medical diagnosis, work stress and/or burnout and abusive situations.

The most important thing to know about depression is that it can be effectively treated. The first step is to acknowledge that depression has become an issue for you, and to seek assistance as early as possible. At Sydney Hills Counselling, you can receive personalised treatment for your struggles with depression. We can help you to overcome depression by utilising evidence-based therapies and treatments, targeted to help you to make positive changes and adopt a more positive outlook on life.

If you would like to take a quick test to see whether you may be depressed, then please follow this link below:

Once you have your depression score, and if it is over 5, please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you.

To start on your journey to overcome depression, contact Sydney Hills Counselling on (02) 9159-6277 or email us here via our contact form.